Locked up for poaching abalone, Shuhood Abader began writing his life story. For over fifteen years, he had been a small cog in a criminal industry stretching from the Cape underworld to China’s luxury seafood market. As abalone – ‘perlemoen’, ‘perly’ – vanishes from the South African coast, Shuhood’s first-person account takes us right into the heart of the crisis. Kimon de Greef’s postgrad research on poaching led him into journalism, and today he is the pre-eminent local expert on the illicit abalone trade. He contextualises Abader’s raw, immediate tale by showing how the system works: from desperate fishing communities via gang strongholds on the Cape Flats, tik, guns and police complicity to the harbours of Morocco and Hong Kong. Journey with the authors through death-defying dives, blackmail, robbery, shark encounters, near-drownings, and chases by police and rival. ‘Poacher’ tells the story of a deadly black market; but it is also the story of one man, deeply conflicted, committed to his faith and searching for a better way.